It does not hurt to have a bit of a ‘naughty’ side when enjoying a healthy salad, right? Fried Mozzarella & Tomato Salad is a definite example of this. You normally see just plain mozzarella with salad, drizzled with olive oil and vinegar (sometimes), and to be fair, there is nothing lacking on that combo. It’s just that sometimes I crave for some fried stuff with my salad. Don’t you?
Fried Mozzarella & Tomato Salad is enjoyable any time of the year, but specially so during summer when you see different colors (and kinds) of tomatoes. I prefer to use cherry tomatoes and the small yellow ones during summer – and dried tomatoes. I don’t know about you, but I love drying tomatoes in the oven, instead of buying them. The ones I see in the store tend to be waaaay too salty. :/ So, whenever I see good tomatoes, I slice them in halves, sprinkle some salt, drizzle a bit of olive oil and put them in the oven for at least three hours (with a really low temperature) – and voila!
It goes without saying that using a good quality balsamic vinegar makes all the difference for this salad. Personally, I prefer the creamy, sticky kind – a little goes a long way, as in literally. 🙂
As for mozzarella, I guess you can use the regular ones and just slice them into smaller bits – but for me, I never make this salad if I cannot find any mozzarella mini balls in the supermarket. It’s just less work that way.
You can serve Fried Mozzarella & Tomato Salad as an appetizer, which is what I considered for the number of servings for this recipe. But there is no rule against having it as a main dish – which is what I always do. 😀
- 200 grams mozzarella, mini balls
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup fine breadcrumbs
- 2 & 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 320 grams cherry tomatoes (or other color & types), sliced into halves or quarters (almost 2 cups)
- 100 grams mixed leafy greens
- 1/3 cup dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- salt and pepper, to season
Heat up the vegetable oil in a small or medium pan. Oil must be extremely hot before you start frying the mozzarella balls.
Drain the water from the mozzarella balls and season beaten eggs with salt and pepper.
Dip the mozzarella balls in the beaten eggs and then coat with the fine breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess breadcrumbs and repeat the process with the egg and the breadcrumbs again. Set mozzarella balls in a plate.
Once the oil is ready, fry the mozzarella balls in batches. They will be ready in a couple of minutes, up until they turn slightly brown. Using a slotted spoon to fry and take them out of the pan really helps in making sure you don’t burst them.
Place all fried mozzarella balls on paper towels to drain off excess oil.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, leafy greens and dried tomatoes. Pour the olive oil, salt and pepper for seasoning and mix to combine. Drizzle with olive oil and place fried mozzarella balls on one side of the plate.